This article is from the archive of our partner .

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his wife, Lyudmila, went on national television this evening to announce that they have separated and their "marriage is over." The soon-to-be former Mrs. Putin said "this is civilized divorce" and they will remain friends. The couple married in 1983 and have two daughters.

Lyudmila Putin is rarely seen in public, and rumors have been swirling for months that they had already split up. Rumors about her husband's infidelities and even possible abuse have swirled even longer that, but in truth, very little is known about Putin's family life, even in his home country. (Which we suppose is not that unexpected for a former KGB agent.) In fact, according to Daily Mail, no photographs of the couple's daughters have ever been published in the Russian media, even though they are both in their mid-20s and their father has been President for most of their lives.

However, the first couple was reportedly photographed together just last night at a ballet performance.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to